THE UK needs a “reality check” after its botched overseas interventions, and the relationship between Westminster and the home nations must be “reset”, a new book on Afghanistan claims.

Westminster decisions to go to war in Iraq and intervene in Libya have contributed to a “reluctance” amongst politicians and the public to act overseas and left MPs “haunted by the failures”, according to Professor Stephen Gethins, of the University of St Andrews.

And the former SNP MP says the UK and other western powers need a “reality check... on their priorities and how to deliver them” following a string of “foreign policy failures” which have damaged the idea of western powers as “reliable partners”.

Gethins – ex-SNP spokesperson on international and European affairs and a former member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – is amongst the experts to have penned chapters for Losing Afghanistan. The book explores the fall of Kabul and the end of western intervention, falling the chaotic withdrawal of US and UK troops last summer.

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Released on Tuesday, proceeds from the book will be donated to the Afghan Writing Project at Untold Stories, which supports women writers in Afghanistan.

In a section dedicated to EU-UK security cooperation, Gethins, who specialises in international relations, says Brexit has placed Britain in the “most isolated position” it’s been in during the post-war period and argues that the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan has left a legacy of betrayal.

And he calls for change in the relationship between the UK and the EU, also arguing for a major shift in domestic politics to improve international results.

Advocating for “resetting the relationship between the constituent parts of the UK”, he writes: “Part of the UK’s problem is the winner-takes-all approach to elections, where a Westminster government can implement its agenda with a freer hand than most European governments.

“As the UK has illustrated in recent years, this can lead to more radical governance disregarding the views of the majority where consensus is rarely sought. Perhaps politicians of all parties need to reassess our foreign policy in light of Afghanistan to recapture that sense of international solidarity.”

Gethins further argues that a “drift” in focus away from foreign and defence cooperation with Europe “will be a concern to all Western allies” because “no country can afford to ignore its neighbours on foreign and security policy”.

HE states: “It is easy to see where greater cooperation could be built, such as economic development, border management and the rule of law. To Afghanistan’s south, the UK’s strong relationship with Pakistan could complement the EU’s soft power clout.There’s a strong case for the EU and the UK to work together on the growing refugee crisis.”

Gethins’ contribution is published alongside others from figures including Masoud Andarabi, Afghanistan’s former Minister of the Interior, and LibDem Lord Jeremy Purvis, a former MSP. It comes ahead of the launch of the Scottish Council on Global Affairs. The think-tank involves the universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, as well as the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The centre will be unique in Scotland and organisers are aiming for “international reach and reputation”.

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While he is critical of the UK’s handling of Afghanistan, Gethins says there was a “helplessness” after the USA decided to withdraw, which itself poses further questions about the role of and relationship with Europe. He asked: “Could the EU have done anything? Do we need a harder element in EU foreign policy?

“The United States is going to be tilting towards Asia. Look at the crisis in Ukraine; that should be led by European powers,” he continued.

Gethins told the Sunday National that Scotland and the Yes movement must now “really think about” foreign policy and its place on the world stage. He said: “This is a much bigger conversation. We have to think about Scotland’s foreign policy platform.

“How we see ourselves in the world, our values and what happens next is a really big question for the national movement. We need to take much more seriously this idea of pan-European security.”

Edited by Brian Brivati, Losing Afghanistan: The Fall of Kabul and the End of Western Intervention is published by BiteBack on Tuesday